Enjoy Mark Boyer’s trip report of his rim-to-rim hike and additional explorations of the Horseshoe Mesa area. The report is in PDF format.
Archive for the 'Trails - Corridor' Category
Robert wrote to ask: “Is it possible to get to the North Rim in March or is it always closed until May?”
Yes, it is possible to get to the North Rim in March. One could Ski or Snow machine down from Jackob Lake. Or, one could hike over from the South Rim. The access road is not plowed and no services are available in March. Only the winter caretaker would be in residence.
Thanks to Ken, from Washington State, for sharing the following trip report:
Trip Report Dec 17-23, 2005
Hermit’s Rest, Tonto Plateau, Bright Angel by way of Ribbon Falls.
Hermit’s Rest to Hermit Ck 7.8
to Monument Ck 3.8
to Horn Ck 8.2
to Bright Angel Camp 7.2
to Indian Garden 4.7
to South Rim 4.6
3 miles round trip to Plateau Point,
and 12 miles round trip to Ribbon Falls.
I got to the Grand Canyon Village on Friday, Dec 16th, and stayed at Bright Angel Lodge. A reasonable price of 56 dollars, and I share the shower rooms with other visitors. I went to the Backcountry Office and got my permit, to start the next day. In the off season, the permit seems to be readily available.
It was cold on the rim, but no snow, and the forecast was that the weather would improve as time went by.
The next morning, I had coffee and breakfast in the lodge, and got a ride to the Hermit’s Rest trailhead, since there aren’t shuttles there in the off season.
My Platypus tube was frozen everytime I got a drink, until some time past Santa Maria Springs. The tub at Santa Maria Springs was frozen, but the water was flowing into the tub.
The Hermit trail has some obstructions, from rock fall, along the way down to the Tonto Trail, but not real bad, and if being observant, I don’t see anyone missing the way through the jumbled rocks. This trail is said to be un-maintained, so be advised, if you are uncomfortable with trails in this condition.
I didn’t have anything uncommon happen the first day, except for the many moments of awe, when pausing to take in the view. This is what I had hoped this hike would be like for all the years I have wanted to hike it. Dropping down into the canyon, and seeing the color changes all around me is really a charge for my energy, when I ever wonder “Why am I here?”
Several places along the trail I dropped down quickly, and also got a great view of the cliffs above and the plateau below, with a taste of the Inner Gorge, that has the massive Colorado River hidden in it’s folds.
The junction with the Tonto Trail is very well marked and after trudging the rest of the way, I set up camp under an overhang, and well away from the NPS provided privy.
Camp was quiet, except for a few ‘voices’ enveloped in the wind, and a little Kangaroo Rat checking out my vestibule, it left when it found nothing to eat. I had expected to see other people here, but, was surprised to find I was unique in my interest of hiking here at this time of year. The creek was running well, and could picture summer time sun bathers, dipping into the water, but I chose not to bathe yet, even though I was alone, it was December. (more…)
A parent emailed to ask:
What is the youngest age that you suggest for a son to walk the Angel Trail? Our son, who is 12 and in good shape, is planning to hike with us this summer. Is this OK?
As a father of an 11 and a 14 year old, I wouldn’t hesitate to take either down the Bright Angel trail. However, I’d never take them on such a hike in the summer. A nice cool season day hike would be down the Bright Angel to Indian Garden and possibly plateau point. If visiting the canyon in summer with my kids, I’d stick to the rim trail.
Ken has some additional reactions:
This is a tough one. Summer is a poor time to be on these trails for anyone - most of the search and rescue operations happen in the summer. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke (which can result in permanent disability) are common problems in the summer.
My impression is that children are more prone to dehydration and more likely to have heat related problems.
Still, people do it - but I’d be uncomfortable recommending it. But, hiking the Grand Canyon in the summer is like sunbathing in an oven — it can really take all the fun out of the trip.
You would be much better advised to do day hikes - in the SK to Cedar Ridge - maybe little beyond.
In the Bright Angel to Plateau point (in early and well on the way back out before 11AM. But never into the inner gorge where temps reach 110 degrees F +. And NEVER attempt a rim-to-river-to-rim in the same day.
Hope this is of some assistance in helping you to make plans.